When flowers appear at the tip of every Pachypodium namaquanum branch, a spring floral feast lifts the arid world of the halfmens and its neighbours. Birds and insects quickly breed, for who knows when the rains are good again?
The swollen Pachypodium stems have earned them the bottle tree name in southern Africa. The same name is given to some Brachychiton trees in Australia, also sporting swollen boles in often-arid land.
Storing water in some way is a very relevant survival mechanism in the north of the Richtersveld near the Gariep River and the south of Namibia. P. namaquanum is mostly found on southwest facing slopes where fog typically appears, collected by some of the plants adapted to live there (Mannheimer and Curtis, (Ed.), 2009; Coates Palgrave, 2002).